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Lesson Study Final Report Template

PART I: BACKGROUND Title: An Introduction to Biology Lab: Enzyme Functions and Properties. Authors: Kama Almasi Lisa Bardon Kurt Freund Isabelle Girard Eric Singsaas Dept of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Dept of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Dept of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Contact: Eric Singsaas, esingsaa@uwsp.edu Discipline or Field: biology, chemistry, health, medicine, education Date: n/a Course Name: General Biology (non-majors; with laboratory; 5 cr) Course Description: BIOL 101 (Course Catalog): Biological principles; survey wide variety of plant and animal life. 3 hrs lec, 3 hrs lab per wk. General Biology is a non-majors biology course often applied to the General Degree Requirements (liberal arts requirements) for science education. Every semester, 10-12 sections of the course are offered at a total enrollment of 250 325 students. Many of the students are freshmen (~50%), some are sophomores (~25%), and a few are rd th th upperclassmen in their 3 , 4 , or 5 year of study. Students come from over two dozen majors and from all colleges: many are interested in education (elementary education, communication disorders, exceptional education) while others are pursuing degrees in history, language, health promotion, and other fields. Not surprisingly, a portion of students (~10%) have not declared a major. This enzyme kinetics laboratory is usually scheduled about midway in the course. However, each of the 3-5 instructors has flexibility in the laboratory schedule and assignments.

Executive Summary: The lesson was a (3-hr) laboratory exercise on enzyme reactions. Students used simple materials to measure the rate of oxygen production from hydrogen peroxide in the presence of catalase, extracted from potatoes, which catalyzes this reaction. Once the students learned the basic measurement, they were asked to vary the concentration of enzyme, concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the temperature, and add an inhibitor. Students were asked to graph their results (e.g., relationship between temperature and oxygen production rate) for each experiment and to answer questions about the experiment, procedure, and results at each stage of the experiment. At the end of class, groups were asked to share their results with the class and discuss any differences between their results and other groups results. As a result of information we gained during initial observation of the lesson, we substantially revised the protocol and lesson plan. In observations during labs using the revised protocol, we observed substantial improvements in students engagement with the material: student use of terminology increased, discussion of the topic material increased, student-instructor interaction increased, and attention to procedural details decreased. The process of lesson study demonstrated to us, in a very dramatic way, how ineffective we are in assessing our lessons while we are teaching them. Although we were familiar with the end results of the unimproved lesson, we had not been able to determine the source of difficulties. Only when we were allowed to serve as observers and not as instructors were we able to devote the attention needed to listen to student conversations and understand the challenges. Afterwards, it was surprisingly easy in our group to generate ideas to address the inadequacies of our design. The practice of teaching without observation or reflection now seems absolutely absurd. However, we have all agreed that our current teaching loads prevent us from applying our lessons from lesson study in any practical way.
Team Enzyme LS final report UWSP

PART II: THE LESSON (Enzyme Function)

Overview of the Lesson on Enzyme Function The lesson was a four-part laboratory exercise on enzyme reactions. Students used simple materials to measure the rate of oxygen production from hydrogen peroxide in the presence of catalase, which catalyzes this reaction. Once the students learned the basic measurement, they were asked to vary the concentration of enzyme, concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the temperature, and add an inhibitor. Students were asked to graph their results (e.g., relationship between temperature and oxygen production rate) for each experiment and to answer questions about the experiment, procedure, and results at each stage of the experiment. At the end of class, groups were asked to share their results with the class and discuss any differences between their results and other groups results.

Student Learning Goals

Enzyme Function Lesson Study Goals We have two different types of goals we hope to address in this lesson. We have lesson-specific goals and we have a few goals that we hope to address throughout the course. In our course goals, we emphasize improving our students comprehension of scientific concepts. In the lesson goals, we focus on concepts relevant to how enzymes work.

I. General Biology Course Goals Students will be able to: 1) Express biological processes using mathematical, graphical, and visual form with figures. 2) Improve oral and written communication skills 3) Enhance collaboration skills 4) Develop the following basic laboratory techniques: following a protocol, pipeting, measure volume, timing, data recording, and graphing. 5) Develop the parts of a scientific report: introduction, methods, results, and discussion.

II. Enzyme Function Lesson goals Students will be able to: 6) Formulate a scientific question in terms of a testable hypothesis. 7) Discover the importance of enzymes in cellular metabolism. 8) Describe enzyme roles and how they relate to other biological aspects. Example: how enzyme response to temperature determines where organisms can live on Earth. 9) Recognize and interpret nonlinear responses from their data. 10) Identify and correct misconceptions about biological functions, including: enzymes add energy, enzymes are alive, enzymes can decide, enzyme reactions are on/off. 11) Define and apply the following vocabulary: enzyme, product, substrate, optimization, catalyst, protein, substrate, saturation, rate, and equilibrium.

Team Enzyme LS final report UWSP

Rationale for the Lesson of Enzyme Function Enzyme reactions are important process in living organisms. Enzymes are biological catalysts that initiate all cellular activities. Contrary to popular belief, enzymes are not only found in the digestive system. Enzyme reactions happen in all living cells throughout the entire body of animals. This is a major misconception that needs to be addressed. The importance of enzymes in our lives is something many students do not fully understand. Lecture and individual pre-lab research address some of these misconceptions and foster a greater understanding of the importance of enzymes in our lives. The laboratory experience expands upon the importance and location of enzyme reactions towards the understanding of the enzyme reaction itself. The lab is one of the ways students are able to visualize the enzyme reaction and the effects that some of the variables have on the rate of reaction. Knowledge of these factors allows students to determine the optimal conditions for a particular enzyme to work the most effectively. Based on the information form the lab, students should realize that the enzymes reactions that exist in our body due so as a result of being under optimal conditions.

Suggestions for Implementing the Laboratory on Enzyme Function The following is a list of ways these goals will have been reached and student learning has become apparent. Technical tips are included in the brief video segment and in the laboratory protocol. Outline a list of key terms and concepts In order for the students to understand the laboratory procedure or the enzyme reaction, students must have an understanding of the key vocabulary terms. These terms are explained in lecture, in the introduction of the lab procedure, and at the beginning of the lab period by the professor. The use of these terms while performing the lab, answering lab questions, and presenting their results provide the professor visual and audio evidence in their knowledge of those terms. Assign pre-lab homework As a requirement for the pre-lab assignment, students needed to have a hypothesis for each experiment being performed in the lab. At the beginning of the lab the professor will check to see that the students did in fact perform the per-lab assignment. The instructor will conduct a brief survey of the class by calling on students to hear some of the their hypotheses for the four experiments before beginning the lab. Both by observing the written hypotheses and listening to the students as they read their hypotheses to the class, the instructor is able to analyze student understanding in developing a testable hypothesis. Ask students to analyze data in class During each experiment students are required to collect data and use the data to construct a graph. Based on the information in the lab procedure and the discussion at the beginning of the lab, students should be able to determine whether a linear or nonlinear line graph is a better representation of their data. The graphs need to be shown to the instructor before students move on to the next experiment in order to discuss their choice. Each group will be required to present and interpret the results of one of their experiments to the class. The discussion with the instructor will eliminate any misinterpretation of the graph before hand. Encourage post-lab review and synthesis At the conclusion of each experiment, students are required to answer some questions that pertain to that particular variable that they tested. The post-lab questions require the students to discuss in their groups what would happen if certain variable changed in a particular way and provide explanations using relevant vocabulary terms. These questions also address some of the misconceptions about enzymes and their reactions. These post-lab questions need to completed and shown to the instructor before proceeding to the next experiment in order to ensure that students are analyzing and interpreting their results. Lead class presentation and discussion of findings An instructor-driven discussion at the end extends the concepts from a single enzyme to ask students to think about what enzyme properties (e.g., response to temperature) can tell them about organisms (e.g., metabolism slows in the cold). It is expected that the discussion would be an opportunity for students to synthesize lab results with concepts from lectures and readings. This discussion will also be used to further address the misconceptions of where enzyme reactions take place and how they occur.

Team Enzyme LS final report UWSP

Allow sufficient time for processing and discussion We found our labs were heavily loaded with procedures and often the students were so intent on following directions and collecting data, they gave little attention to the processes under investigation. While laboratories should offer training and experience in technical skills and practices and students love to use cool gadgets and expensive equipment students should not be overwhelmed with physical procedures to the exclusion of mental processing. This lab and others can be partitioned so each group can complete one or more components in the time allowed, as the group discussion at the end of lab will incorporate results from all groups and all variables. Integrate this exercise in the introductory science curriculum Unfortunately, we were unable to extend collaboration on this project to our introductory curriculum as a whole. In performing the lesson study, we realized that many students were unprepared to conduct data analyses. Some students lacked basic graphing skills, such as understanding the x and y axes, spacing intervals along axes (some would place 0.5% - 1.0% equidistant from 5% - 10%), and distinguishing between categorical and metric data. Most students were unfamiliar with saturation curves that express a limit to the change in output regardless of increasing input, and few could translate their graphical data into concise relationships. Ideally, these competencies would be built in to the introductory science curriculum and reinforced through individual classes, between classes, and even between semesters. Because the scientific community has a fairly well-defined set of competencies and language for communication, it would appear to be a relatively easy task to reinforce common concepts across classes. Unfortunately, classes at our university tend to operate in isolation - even sections of the same course if taught by different instructors - and numerous barriers to collaboration prevented meaningful application of our experience with lesson study into our curriculum as a whole.

Team Enzyme LS final report UWSP

PART III: THE STUDY Approach 1. Initial observation. Our team first attempted to study student interaction during a three-hour lab period (February 16, 2006) in which the draft version of the enzyme lab was used. The lab was led by Dr. Singsaas as a guest instructor, although the course was regularly taught by a colleague. The purpose of the Lesson Study was explained to the students, who had previously signed Informed Consent waivers and had advance notice of the study. Each member in attendance was briefly introduced to the class. Four members of the team were able to attend in person and attempted to use an observational scoring system blocked in 20-minute intervals. Each member selected at random a group of 2-4 students to observe continuously. The observers did not communicate with the students or provide instruction. The lesson was also videotaped with a camera set in a fixed location at the front of the lab room. 2. Initial data collection. Our evaluation instrument (continuous focal observations broken into timed intervals) was very difficult to use, primarily because the students did not interact extensively and the lesson procedure did not prompt them to make their learning visible. In two of the four student groups tracked, most of the verbal communication was social and unrelated to the lab content. In a third group, only a single person talked, and in a fourth, the two partners communicated mainly with a series of grunts and head gestures. The lesson did not require the students to voice or verify their understanding, demonstrate synthesis, or communicate their concerns. Many of the questions directed at the professor and Dr. Singsaas involved procedural details like, Where is the test tube? rather than content. The two members who watched the lesson on videotape found this to be unproductive. Students moved around during the laboratory exercise, so conversations could not be followed by the fixed camera. The members concluded that in-person attendance at the lab was critical for observing the lesson. 3. Lesson revision to prompt visible learning. Observers quickly concluded that extensive revision of the lesson and procedure was required to make student interaction with the material and each other visible. The team undertook a backwards design of the lesson first to outline learning goals and then to create various prompts for evaluating student mastery of those goals during the lesson. The extensive revision of the laboratory procedure included addition of pre-lab preparatory work, reduction in the number of procedures required per group, addition of though questions to be completed at regular intervals during the lab, and more clear directions for analysis of data and preparation of graphs. 4. Second observation. Because we found the videotape virtually useless for post-laboratory data collection, we all conducted in-person observations. Although this required that we observe three sections taught by two instructors, the value of the inperson experience far outweighed the variation introduced by multiple labs. We applied a simple Likert scale similar to the one included in the Lesson Study Project guide (Cerbin & Kopp 2006) and augmented the scores with narrative accounts of student responses to the many prompts now included in the lesson. For example, before a student group could move from one experiment to the next (of 4 experimental parts), he or she must demonstrate understanding in writing to the instructor by appropriately and creatively answering a thought question. We noted the vocabulary used by students during this discussion with the instructor and when students were discussing findings amongst themselves. We found tracking correct use of vocabulary a very powerful tool to qualitatively and quantitatively assess student learning and would recommend incorporating this into future studies.

Team Enzyme LS final report UWSP

Findings and Discussion Revision of the lesson substantially improved correct and relevant use of the key vocabulary terms, increased time spent on task, increased time spent communicating with other students (both on laboratory subjects and non-lab topics), reduced the time spent in physical procedure, and improved the quality of end-of-lab discussions. We subjectively assessed that student enthusiasm increased but had no measurement of this. Importantly, the revision of the laboratory to reduce procedures allowed more time for interaction between students and instructors. While a substantial proportion of questions directed at the instructor were still related to the protocol (e.g., Where is the temperature bath?), the instructor had more opportunity to ask students about their work, their understanding, and themselves. In future lesson studies, wed like to include observation of instructor behavior as well, and add components to assess affective response to lessons.

APPENDIX laboratory protocol Almasi K, Bardon B, Freund K, Girard I and Singsaas E. 2008. An Introduction to Biology Lab: Enzyme Functions and Properties (laboratory protocol). Department of Biology and School of Education, University of WisconsinStevens Point. Attached here as a PDF << enzyme lab protocol UWSP.pdf >>

video overview with comments A 5-minute badly produced Quicktime video demonstrating the basic methodology of the laboratory. Attached here as << enzyme lab overview UWSP.mov >>

human research form Copy of the application to the Institutional Research Board to videotape and survey students during the lesson study. Attached here as << human research form_Lesson Study.doc >>

informed consent form Copy of the form submitted to students enrolled in sections of the course under study. Students who did not wish to be videotaped were excluded from the field of view during videotaping. Attached here as << Informed Consent_Lesson Study.doc >>

Team Enzyme LS final report UWSP